The name of Shanghai's Changning district in Chinese suggests long-lasting tranquility but district leaders are determined to add an extra dash of hustle and bustle to the 38 square kilometre area. With two sub-districts, Hongqiao Foreign Trade Centre and Gubei New Zone, up and running, the district is now moving full-speed ahead to develop what is being described as its second commercial hub - Zhongshan Park Business Centre. As districts in Shanghai vie with one another for foreign funds, competition is inevitable, and tough. Yet, Changning district leaders staunchly believe they have an edge over competitors - its first commercial centre, the 0.6 sq km Hongqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone, caters only to foreigners. 'Relying on Hongqiao, developing Changning' is the district's development strategy, said Feng Baoxin , vice director of the Changning district government. The district's master plan is to accommodate two commercial centres, one at Zhongshan Park and one at Hongqiao, southwest of the Zhongshan area. How workable the strategy is remains to be seen. But officials claim Hongqiao, where the only investments are real estate projects and which is being developed as the city's foreign trade centre, has the largest share of foreign investment in the entire district. It is ironic that in the wake of a faltering real estate market on the mainland, a substantial portion of Changning district's income comes from this sector. Out of the 600 million yuan (about HK$557.88 million) in revenues the district earned last year, 160 million yuan came from real estate projects. In addition to Hongqiao, Gubei New Zone in the south is strictly a residential area with apartments that cater to the foreign market. Yu Zhonggen , vice general manager of Shanghai Gubei (Group) Corp, a government-linked company which is developing the zone, believes Gubei's proximity to Hongqiao International Airport in the extreme southwest has helped attract foreign buyers. He said development of the third part of the Gubei new zone, which comprises 5.4 million square feet in gross floor area, was completed. The next step was to start building for the first and second parts of the zone, which would have 26.9 million sq ft of gross floor area, he said. The market slump has dampened Gubei's flat sales. In 1993, sales accounted for 72 per cent of the total flats sold in the city. In 1994, they accounted for 49 per cent. From January to mid-July last year, sales accounted for 25.4 per cent of the total number of flats sold to foreigners in Shanghai. Still, officials take comfort in the fact that the percentage was lower than that of rival Xuhui district, another emerging commercial centre in Shanghai's southwest. Mr Feng said the next phase of the district's development would be to transform the area near Zhongshan Park into a major business and commercial centre, through which Metro Line Two would pass. Attracting more foreign capital is crucial to attaining that goal, he said. This will be done through leasing land sites, the revenue from which would be used for upgrading existing infrastructure facilities and building new ones. Shanghai B share company, the Jinjiang Tower Group, is building a 5.9 million sq ft new Jinjiang Commercial Building, west of Zhongshan Park. Hong Kong's Lai Sun Group is also investing 930 million yuan in Zhaofeng Garden, a residential development for domestic buyers. The project occupies a 3.6 ha site. Taking a keen interest also was New World Development which is investing in two projects, Mr Feng said. The first is the 480 million yuan Changning Plaza which will have 861,120 sq ft of total floor area. The other project would be a 2.5 million sq ft hotel and residential development. In the first half of the year, six new development projects have been approved. Xu Jianping, director of the Changning district office for the development of major projects, said a total of 220 million yuan would be invested in the six projects. In 1995, 14 sites were leased, he said. As foreign investment continues to increase in the district, demand for local housing is also rising. The district construction committee's deputy director, Gao Wenyu , said the aim was to raise per capita living space from 90.4 sq ft to 107.6 sq ft by 2000. In the midst of such rising demand is the arduous task of redeveloping old areas. Mr Feng said there were 16.4 million sq ft of old areas to be demolished and 43,500 households to be relocated. He said they also had to build 27.9 million sq ft of new flats. So far, one-third of the 16.4 million sq ft has been torn down. Meanwhile, Changning officials want to take the development of the real estate sector a step further. 'We also want to incorporate high-tech industries,' Mr Feng said.